Biographical Non-Fiction posted April 13, 2024 Chapters:  ...26 27 -28- 

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A chapter in the book Living the Elusive Dream

A chapter in the book Grasping the Elusive Dream

Surviving With a Full Nest

by BethShelby

In January of ’89, Connie decided she didn’t want to go back to public school. She begged to go back to Collegedale Academy for the last half of her sophomore year. She had a friend named Valerie, who likely talked her into coming back. She also wanted to be on the gymnastic team. She was very good at the sport. Unfortunately, she got in trouble once again. Not only was her friend a bad influence, but she got suspended for several days and almost expelled for another incident.
I only know what the school said and what she told us. Since at that time, she wasn’t always truthful, I can only report what she told us. She and another girl were in the girl’s restroom. The girl was putting on eyeliner. In order to sharpen the eyeliner, she lit a match and held the flame to the makeup. Somehow a paper towel caught fire and the girl tossed the smoldering towel into the garbage. Both girls left the restroom and went to chapel. Later, fire alarms went off and the building had to be evacuated while the fire was brought under control.  
I think both girls denied being the last ones in the restroom, but they were found guilty and suspended. Since Connie didn’t wear eye makeup, I don’t know how involved she was. The school didn’t give her the option of coming back in the fall, so once again she would be returning to public school. If the school had known about the time she caused our house to burn in New Orleans, they might have believed she was an arsonist and had set the fire deliberately.
That summer, Connie and her friend, Valerie both decided to get jobs. Since Connie was still an irresponsible kid at heart and new to the working world, her jobs didn’t always work out. She tried jobs in both retail sales and at a couple of ice cream parlors.
During the summer, she met a guy who worked at a local grocery store. He was also a senior at the public school. Everyone in the family liked Lenny. He was a decent guy, and we were pleased she was dating him. Her behavior improved and Lenny was always welcome in our home. Both of his parents were in the education field. His dad was a school principal, and his mother was a college professor. They were divorced, and the father was remarried.
Evan and I were invited over to a barbeque to meet his dad and step-mom. Connie got along great with all of his family. However, she was still immature and she and Lenny often parted company with both of them in tears. The fall semester went better for her. Her grades improved. Lenny spent time studying and she started studying more herself. I think she was realizing for the first time that she was smart, and she had just never applied herself before.
Don, who had continued to live with us and go to the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, had finally gotten the courses he needed in order to enroll in Life College in Marietta, Georgia. Finally, he could begin his chiropractic training. At last, we would be starting once again to empty our nest.
Since he and Kimberly had met, the two of them were spending as much time together as possible. It seemed their relationship was serious so before heading to Georgia, Don took her to Mississippi to meet my mom and dad. He and Kimberly also made a trip to Florida to see his older sister Carol and her husband. Carol and Don had always had a close relationship. Now with Kimberly a part of the picture, she wouldn’t allow him much alone time with any of his family. She especially disliked Christi.
Carol had looked forward to spending time with her brother, but he and Kimberly did everything together without including her. She felt she was being used in order for them to have a cheap vacation trip to Orlando. It is likely if she could have gotten him alone, she would have discouraged his relationship with Kimberly. He had tried to discourage her from marrying Glen, the first time he met the new man in her life.
Speaking out against who my children dated was something Evan and I tried not to do. It didn’t usually make a difference, and I’d seen it go horribly wrong with several of my friends, who weren’t even able to see their grandchildren as a result.
When Don and Kimberly returned from their traveling, he went to Marietta and registered for fall classes, found a place to live and a part time job. Kimberly went down to Georgia as well, got herself a nursing job in a hospital in Atlanta and found a place to live near Don. She wasn’t about to let him get out of her life.
I did, at one time, discourage Christi when she was dating someone I definitely didn’t trust. She was flipped over a guy and wanted to move to Florida, since he was from there. His first cousin told her he was no good. He was good looking, but he turned out to be a drug dealer and a criminal. Nothing I said made a difference. She had to find out for herself.
We still hadn’t found a way to persuade Christi to move. She always pleaded she couldn’t afford the cost of rent. She had decided she wanted to take classes and become a massage therapist. She seemed to have a steady stream of boyfriends, but none of them were completely someone she was ready to fall in love with. One was a cop, she met when her car went dead in a tunnel. He went to her car to ask if she needed help. She embarrassed herself by asking, “Do you think you could jump me?”
At any rate, they had several dates. One late night their date ended with him losing control of his car on our steep driveway as they were saying goodnight. They were distracted enough they didn’t realize the car was rolling until all of us were awakened by a large crash as the car rolled off the hill and into a tree.
They were lucky the tree was there or otherwise they would have likely ended up plowing into our neighbor’s bedroom. To put it mildly, Evan and I had about all we could take. It was three o'clock in the morning and the guy had to ask if he could spend the rest of the night on our sofa and wait until daylight to call a wrecker.
Just before Christmas that year, an incident occurred that would involve one of our multiple times when everything goes wrong at once.
Evan Shelhy, retired husband of Beth.
Beth Shelby, his wife working at printing company.
Carol Shelby Egolf, Oldest daughter, married, lives and work as nurse in Orlando.
Glen Egolf, Carol's husband. Also a nurse in Orlando.
Don and Christi, grown twins still living at home   Christi works  Don is about the start Chiropractic College.
Kimberly Dye, Don's girl friend
Connie Shelby, Youngest dauther,  16 still in high school
Lenny P.  Connie's boyfriend,  high school senior.


The Shelby family lives in Chattanooga where Evan is retired and three of their children still live at home. This will be a chapter in the book "Living the Exclusive Dream, The Chattanooga years.
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